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‘Beautiful, gothic and powerfully mysterious.’ ESQUIRE
‘One of the most original and intriguing books you’ll read this year.’ MAIL ON SUNDAY
‘His best to date.’ DAVID MITCHELL
Ryunosuke Akutagawa was one of Japan’s great writers – author of the stories ‘Rashomon’ and ‘In a Bamboo Grove’, most famously – who lived through Japan’s turbulent Taisho period of 1912 to 1926, including the devastating 1923 Earthquake, only to take his own life at the age of just thirty-five in 1927.
These are the stories of Patient X in one of our iron castles. He will tell his tales to anyone with the ears and the time to listen –
Inspired and informed by Akutagawa’s stories, essays and letters, David Peace has fashioned a most extraordinary novel of tales. An intense, passionate, haunting paean to one writer, it also thrillingly explores the act and obsession of writing itself, and the role of the artist, both in public and private life, in times which darkly mirror our own.
David Peace writes the boldest and most original British fiction of his generation.
His best to date.
‘One of the most memorable stories in the book, the phantasmagoric “Jack the Ripper’s Bedroom” […] reads like something by Edgar Allan Poe set in Edwardian London with a Japanese protagonist, and concludes with a nod and a wink to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.’
’Replicates the curious but damaged psyche of its subject. . . a powerful study of story-telling.’
‘Beautiful, gothic and powerfully mysterious.’
‘As a work of tribute, Patient X is superlative: exacting, precise and filled with the suffocating sense of foreboding generated by the mater’s own best stories...Peace is not simply a masterfully controlled stylist but a magnificently atmospheric one, composing hypnotic collages.’
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